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How do you get better without playing bass?


conguiño

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What other instruments benefit bass playing ear and technical chops MOST. Keyboard, drums and guitar were my obvious guesses. I'd really appreciate it if someone could elaborate a bit on how different instruments could complement electric bass playing.

 

Thanx

Does it hurt?

 

Only when I'm awake.

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You got the three right there! Keyboards can give you the overall picture. That is, if you're good enough, then you can play the entire piece (or most of it anyhow) on it. Kind of the same for guitar, but you're limited by the six or seven strings. As for the drums, that'll help you on syncing with the bass.

 

I often "lock in" with my drummer on a cover band I play in (esp. with his bass drum beats). As for other instruments, it depends on the style of music. Just listen to other styles of music. I learned a lot that way when I needed to play samba and other Latin tunes, for instance. It's a whole other ball game playing those bass lines, as opposed to the hard rock/prog/metal stuff I'm used to.

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any musical instrument can help you with your bass chops... learn a new instrument and adapt what you learn to your bass technique or style... for instance, I knew a guy in highschool who was an exceptional fautist(sp?) and adapted a lot of his flute style to his guitar and bass playing. You could really hear the influence.

Any time you expand your horizons musically you are helping your bass playing.

DX

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Originally posted by Peter J Romano:

My 1st instrument was/is Trombone.

 

The transition to bass seemed pretty natural to me. :)

 

PJR

Hey me too... unless you count the Jaw Harp...

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Well, you're all wrong. As Jeff Berlin says, "It is impossible to improve your playing away from your instrument." So you can learn to be a better bass player only if you're actually playing the bass itself. So is there anything you can do to improve during those times when you can't actually play? Nope, sorry. Nor, I suppose, could you learn by playing anything else.

 

*sarcasm mode off*/*flame suit on*

 

Of course, you're all RIGHT!

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Do you want to improve your bass playing away from the axe? It's a proven fact that going through the mental paces can drastically improve the actual, physical performance an a task. Basically, think about bass and music as much as you can...
...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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Piano, piano, piano. Any keyboard, really, but piano gives you the finger workout with its weighted keys. Piano gives you the "BIG PICTURE"-- entire harmonies instead of one note at a time, melodies, bass lines, and accompaniments together in the same arrangement. And theory is a lot clearer when you can visualise it against the layout of a keyboard.
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bewsides piana....trumpet. i play trumpet first then bass but i am finding bass more natural for me. the style of soloing on trumpet and playing on trumpet effects the way i hear the music i want to play on bass. Improv has always been my thing. If u dont play trumpet lookinto some trumoet music or listen to some miles davis
less is more
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Nothing is a substitute for practice. However, for broadening your perspective, nothing's better than playing the drums. When you explore the groove from the other side, your end of the deal improves dramatically.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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One thing that always helps me to improve my bass playing is simply LISTENING to music. Without realizing it, you become influenced by whatever you hear and can be motivated to try certain sounds and styles of playing. At least I know that whenever I play bass after having listened to some funk, my creativity is always better.

 

As a drummer, I'd also have to say that playing drums will immensly help with rhythms and keeping time while on the bass. :thu:

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Ehhmm.. without playing bass..

 

I think I would divide it to three parts.

 

Listening broadening my horizon from feeling/moods to harmonies to timing, especially if I am listening to a music that is different than the one I played usually. Song composition also a part that I always amazed of, the way chord are progressed, and the total picture of it.

I tried to listen to an album, guessing the chord progression and how to execute it, and when I get my bass in my hand, I will surely try it out.

 

Visualization of bass playing techniques can be gotten from watching a performance video/show either live or on TV, or from a clinic/bass instructional videos at the store, or a friend's house. At least without playing my bass at that particular time, I got the knowledge of how doing it.

 

Singing also help me to build melodies. When singing, I tried to simulate the breathing techniques, the way the song moves like a wave, the improvization, when to give accents, building climax, and the way it is correlated to chords.

 

With these, I can build my techniques, rhythm, harmonies, melodies, and timing sense in my mind only.

 

For the application, i still need my bass, for transition from mind to hand needs a lots of practice, and as I quote from Jeremy, familiarization with our own bass is needed, so that we can use it our best in our own "comfortable" area. I don't think I can avoid this part, as Jeff Berlin comment.

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I agree with Davich. LISTEN.

 

I often find inspiration in rhythms. Sevendust is a favorite to listen to because of the drums/synth analog rhythms feeding off each other coupled with the guitars. Same with Linkin Park. I also find inspiration in rap & hip-hop gorups like Eminem, Pink, Young MC, DMX etc.

 

I didn't really list an instrument, but that's what's always helped me.

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OK, I feel that I need to chime in at this point. As much as it's completely essential to building your chops and your ability to execute the notes, it's equally important, let me say again, EQUALLY important to listen. Listen a lot. There is no way you can get really good at playing any style of music without having a good idea of how that music is to be played. You can learn all there is to know about theory, composition, etc.. but without actually listening to that particular style of music, you will be at a loss. It's not everything, but the only thing I would rank as high as actually sitting down with your instrument and playing it, I would say listening to music is there. I don't mean just having it on in the background either, I mean sitting down and doing nothing else but listening to what is going on. What the bass is doing, what the drums are doing, what the singer is singing, what the keyboard player is doing... and heaven forbid, what the guitar player is doing :D:D . Listening is essential. It gives you a perspective, it gives you ideas. When I play in cover bands, I spend as much time listening to the songs that we cover as I do actually playing through them. I want to be intimately familiar to the tunes, what each member of the band is playing, how the notes that they are playing relate to what I'm doing, and ultimately how it's going to sound to the audience that's paying to hear you make music. This also gets into a huge rant about actually listening to the rest of the members of your band while you're playing said music (be it covers or otherwise) but that seems like it's a bit beyond the scope of this particular discussion.

 

Thank you, drive through.

 

Go practice. Listen to something that inspires you.

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Originally posted by dcr:

Well, you're all wrong. As Jeff Berlin says, "It is impossible to improve your playing away from your instrument." So you can learn to be a better bass player only if you're actually playing the bass itself. So is there anything you can do to improve during those times when you can't actually play? Nope, sorry. Nor, I suppose, could you learn by playing anything else.

 

*sarcasm mode off*/*flame suit on*

 

Of course, you're all RIGHT!

Huuumm ! I not really agree with jeff berlin...I'm not peraphs as good as berlin (I only have 3 years of bass playing) but what i know is that learning to play piano helped me enough to improve my harmony nonledge, and also when at school we do "intonating" exercises (it's when the teacher play on piano and the student try to sing what he played..., that really help me on bass ;)
Do What Thou Whilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law
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